Monday, October 26, 2009

The Urban Aquaculture Center

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Years: 2008-2009

Still in a very initial stage, the Urban Aquaculture Center hopes to expand the practice of aquaculture by installing a 50,000 square feet urban aquaculture production facility, the first of its size and kind in the city of Milwaukee. Holding more than 200,000 gallons of municipal water in 20 large tanks, the indoor space will demonstrate to the public sustainable and highly productive practices such as aquaponics, where the water used in the fish tanks is filtered through edible leafy vegetable plants and then reused by the fish. It will combine this with educational facilities, sustainable farming exhibits, and a restaurant and market both selling locally raised fish, hoping to involve the community in practicing aquaculture at a smaller scale in their homes.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the practice of aquaculture “has the greatest potential to meet the growing demand for aquatic food.” One of the strengths of the Urban Aquaculture Center seems to lie in its large-scale vision of serving as a launching point to increase the popularity of aquaculture nation-wide (the United States currently only contributes to 2 percent of worldwide production) as a way of bringing fish production closer to its centers of consumption, contributing to a reduction of carbon emissions and an increased food security. The center envisions having the city of Milwaukee lead the way, capitalizing both on the presence of the successful urban teaching farm Growing Power as well as on its proximity to Lake Michigan. In spite of this exciting vision, it is yet too early to assess the impact this venture will have as it has yet to even install the center.

No comments:

Post a Comment